[Coral-List] Global Warming Theory

Dokken, Dr. Quenton qdokken at gulfmex.org
Thu Mar 5 12:12:20 EST 2009

Mr. Mussman is correct, and it is important to note that the coral-list is
not a high profile forum in the public realm.  Generally we are choir
members preaching to other choir members.  Nor should we consider scientific
literature to be a public communication vehicle.  If we believe that: 1)
climate is undergoing radical and rapid change, and 2) human activities are
in part responsible for either the extreme range of the change and/or the
rapidity of the change then we need to be vocal in a more public forum.
Support those organizations and individuals who are carrying the message to
the public.  Al Gore and others have captured media attention and we need to
support and encourage them to keep up the fight.  And, we must be quick to
counter the spin masters.  Most of us in science do not understand the
dynamics of climate change and even fewer in the public do.  This makes it
easy for contrarians to spread misinformation and collect converts.  There
has been some very good information presented in this list-serve in the past

It is important to recognize that there is only one reason that anyone could
conceivably question the findings of the IPCC - money.  These contrarians
believe that behavioral change based on the findings of the IPCC could cost
them money.  This mind set is inseparable from the stock market and the mega
banks that have already cost us so much.  The public needs to understand
that behavior and societies are in constant flux and that change in response
to the IPCC findings is not the end of the world.  It could be the
beginning.  It is also important that the public understand that regardless
of cause, climate is changing and as individuals and as societies we must
plan accordingly.  Our heirs will have a very different world to manage.

A story to frame the challenge we face:  Last summer I was at a childhood
friend's home on a lake.  This was a large gathering of family and friends.
Food was plentiful as was beer in the ice chests, boats and jet skis on the
shore, and kids playing games.  In a reflective moment, my friend commented
that life could not get any better than this.  Since then I have pondered on
how to tell people who are living the life they always dreamed that it could
drastically change because of climate change.  The skies are blue, fish can
be caught, and Disney Land is open.  I don't yet have the answer.

Quenton Dokken, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Inc.
PMB 51  5403 Everhart Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

361-442-6064 cell

qdokken at gulfmex.org

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Steve Mussman
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 5:39 AM
To: coral-list
Subject: [Coral-List] Global Warming Theory

After following your discussion relating to climate change,
I would like to insert an observation from a real world,
non-scientific perspective. I seems to me, that among those of you
who are the most respected in the marine sciences, the opinion that
anthropogenic climate change is real and problematic strongly prevails.
The problem is, that you are allowing the views of those like Gene's
unidentified friend to win out in the court of public opinion. 
I don't know how many of you caught George Will's recent columns
on this subject, but these opinions are prevailing at least in part, 
because of your collective passivity.  
The climate change skeptics are not only well financed, but they are 
better organized. As a result they are winning over too many converts to
doctrines. It is not only on this subject that your hesitancy to 
collectively speak out is problematic. Your recent discussion on sustainable

seafood is yet another example. (I, for one, am tired of being labeled as
unstable because I avoid eating grilled grouper.) My point is that you have
responsibility to find a more effective way to aggressively promote these
 You cannot be satisfied to publish in scientific journals that are
generally ineffective 
in stirring public opinion.         

Steve Mussman
sealab at earthlink.net
EarthLink Revolves Around You.
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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